Derek gets some answers from the newly-cured plaguewolf.
September 15, 2015
After dealing with the brand, the unconscious wolf was brought to the Hale House, a place that could simply used as a secretive shelter for the unknown wolf and somewhere a good deal away from prying eyes or potential victims, should the wolf prove untrustworthy even when healthy. Ainsley hasn't been very optimistic, because the nameless werewolf has been silent and exhibiting every sign that some sort of mental damage did happen. It's not a coma, but he doesn't seem all there when he wakes up from time to time and isn't responsive to questions.
Today, he's put on a pair of pants that was brought in for him that he found on the bed he woke up in. The wolf sits on the edge of the bed, blearily looking around, aware of his surroundings. He still felt... out of it, but it's clear that he's awake now.
He spots Ainsley standing there in the doorway with brows raised high and a bag of groceries in one of her hands. She pulls her phone out and sends a message to her Alpha, after she realizes the questioning gaze he was directed at her was indicative of awareness beyond what he was displaying before. 'He's awake' is the message she sends out to Derek so he can hurry over.
Derek wasn't about to let Ainsley go it alone. Despite having no end of personal issues at the moment, as well as other concerns additionally weighing on his mind and spirit, Derek has more or less camped out at Hale House himself, leaving only to tend to necessities. When Ainsley contacts him, he's there in barely a couple of minutes, ready to address this stranger in his territory and see exactly what the story is...at least, what of it he might be able to remember, if he's even coherent enough to do that.
Stiles says to Ethan, as they approach, "Anyway, I haven't even talked to Derek about the whole... biting thing... yet. And I'm worried he'll be pissed." Then as they get close, he grimaces and says in a low voice, "But we can talk about it later." And then he tries to affect a casual air as he approaches the front door.
Ethan Carver nods to Stiles, clutching a paper grocery sack against his chest as he walks along. "Of course, he'll be pissed. I'm pissed, and I'm not even...Look, if it was Liam that got bit by some asshole? Let's just say they don't make chains strong enough to hold me back. Somebody'd be dead." He glances at Stiles as they approach the front doors, lowering his voice further still. "But you need to tell him, you know. If he finds out some other way, he's gonna be more than pissed. He's going to be hurt."
The mysterious wolf keeps staring at Ainsley, and she just sidles through the room to find the chair she brought in. She settles there and digs into the grocery bag to retrieve a sports drink for the silent wolf, who accepts it with a ginger touch, like he wasn't used to his own hands anymore. He holds it with both hands and rests it in his lap and knits his brow while he stares at Ainsley. "You..." he hoarsely asks, "You're the one?"
Ainsley sucks in a breath. "Yes," she replies, softly, after some thought on whether she should say anything at all.
He looks down at the floor, shame filling his face. He remains like that until the others arrive, wringing his fingers around the bottle of red juice-like beverage. "Drink." Derek orders him, at least with the tone he uses. It's really meant as a sort of encouragement, but both Ainsley's upset and the mysterious nameless wolf's weigh on him, to say nothing of the palpable tension between Stiles and Ethan as they arrive. Not that they're set against each other...it's something different, and he doesn't know what it is. But it adds to that edge he feels he's suspended precariously upon at the moment, even if he does maintain his stoic mask. He looks the man over, arms folded over his chest, breathing deep and slow.
Stiles enters, takes in the scene... and hangs back. He almost seems like a kid who broke a window playing ball and is now hoping that nobody notices him for the next year or two. He lets Ethan step forward instead and doesn't get too close to Derek, as if afraid of interrupting.
Ethan Carver frowns as he looks at the unknown wolf, narrowing his eyes suspiciously. After studying the man for a long moment, he reaches into the grocery bag and digs out a small carton of Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey ice cream and a plastic spoon, both of which he passes to Derek. "Eat it. Don't argue about it, just eat it." He them moves toward Ainsley, handing her the sack, which contains other necessity-type things: toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, bottles of water, some cans of soup, and so forth. "Wasn't sure what you'd need out here, so...."
When the exhausted looking stranger opens up the bottle and guzzles down the drink, it's clear the order hit him just right. It helps that it tastes amazing to someone who's been out in the wilds for a while surviving only on water and the meat of wild animals. It doesn't take much more than thirty seconds for the bottle be drained, and then set aside on the bed. And then he coughs loudly, his dry throat irritated by the sudden pouring of something more complex than water.
Ainsley tilts her head to keep an eye on the man's face. He then looks from Ainsley to Derek, the one he remembered from before... the Alpha that he heard through the haze.
Ainsley accepts the offered supplies. She even pats at Ethan's forearm very carefully, and smiles at him, showing her gratitude. She works at digging through the supplies to see what all there is.
The stranger trails his gaze to Ethan, and then Stiles, and to Ainsley again.
"Why did you spare me?" he asks them, his voice thick with a French-Canadian accent that might be hard to understand but isn't hoarse anymore. This gets Ainsley to hesitate visibly in the middle of what she's doing. She looks up at him dimly, and then over to Derek, searching his face.
"Because I don't think it was your fault. And I'm making sure Ainsley's going to be okay." Derek answers, simply. "A member of my pack taught me to ask questions before beating people to death." With this, significantly, he turns to look at Stiles, even if he's keeping his distance from the rest of the proceedings.
It's that moment that Ethan just thrusts ice cream at him. Derek takes it, of course, but there's obvious confusion on his face. He looks down to the ice cream. Back up to Ethan. Then down again.
One brow rises steadily, but he does open the carton, carefully, and takes a spoonful to appraise it.
Stiles smiles a little at the ice cream, but then he frowns suddenly. Walking over to Derek he says, quietly, "Look, I've... gotta go. But later, when we've both got time... I'd like to talk, okay? There's... there's just some stuff. That I really need to talk to you about." He hesitates a moment, and then he turns and makes his way out. Ainsley and Ethan get apologetic looks, and then he's gone, headed back to where he left the Jeep, so he can drive away.
Ethan Carver watches Stiles with a raised brow, but keeps his mouth clamped shut for the moment. He crosses his arms over his chest, turning a scowl back toward the unknown wolf again. "We don't kill...unless absolutely necessary." He shrugs one shoulder, keeping his eyes narrowed. "So far, it hasn't been absolutely necessary. So. Who are you, and what happened?"
There's the question. The strange wolf answers, "Cyril. I am from Canada," which confirms his accent and a vague understanding that he's not in Canada anymore, "Someone with knowledge of the old history attacked my pack." He looks aside at Ainsley, the fresh wolf, and then at Ethan and back to Derek. "I ..." He clenches his jaw a couple of times. "I have nothing left."
"The old history?" Ainsley prompts.
"An old feud. Witches and wolves were hunted side by side, and my family had betrayed a coven long ago to save themselves from the eyes of hunters. But it has never been..." Like this, he wants to say, but he finds himself choking on his words.
Derek listens. And tries to be subtle in eating his ice cream. It *is* good, and the information is what he's wanted to know for a while. Stiles just cuts and runs, which gets him a *look* from Derek, but...he'll follow it up later. Right now, Cyril is the number one priority, even though Stiles nags at the back of his mind. His brow flattens. "I hope you didn't bring your feud here."
Ethan Carver presses his lips in a thin line, brows drawn together. It's clear he wants to follow up with more questions, possibly even accusations, but he knows that's not what he's here for. So he lets Derek handle the interrogation, while Ethan just stands there, arms crossed over his chest, trying to look intimidating.
That hadn't occurred to him. Cyril seems to flinch lightly at that, and the look. He's not an Alpha anymore, and it's clear the disapproval is hitting him pretty hard. Ainsley speaks up at this point, and says, "Go on."
Cyril continues. "I was captured and branded. I escaped..." he hesitates again, pained, realizing he's actually cornered and he doesn't need more enemies right now. "After that, I went mad. I was in so much pain that thinking was difficult or impossible." He rubs the spot, a memory of the pain creeping through his head. "I came here because of the power here. I attacked her..." He points to Ainsley, "Because it would draw you to me so that I could finally die. What wolf pack would tolerate this behavior from a stranger? I still knew that. Or... I did not, as it seems to be now."
"I cannot stay here, and risk bringing this feud to your territory. I ask that you allow me to leave."
"And risk it going somewhere else?" Derek takes another spoonful of the ice cream. He licks his lips. It's as stoic as he can manage to eat ice cream, which is probably better than what most would be able to accomplish doing the same thing. "Ainsley is a part of my pack. I think she needs a say in this. Because it involves her now too. You brought her and, through her, the rest of us into this."
Ethan Carver works hard to suppress the growl building in his chest, and he only manages by asking through clenched teeth, "Witches, really? This is all because...what? Hunters took out some witches instead of some wolves, up in Canada? So why aren't the witches going after the hunters? Why...I don't even know what to ask here. How many witches are we even talking about? What's their ultimate goal here? Killing all werewolves?"
"One very old, very angry witch," Cyril replies to them. "This was not as simple as my family dodging the bullet, as they say. This was a betrayal. Talking was tried. It got one of my own killed." He gets increasingly serious about this. "This was from colonial times. Hundreds of years."
Ainsley's face shows a profound discomfort. She rubs the back of her neck and she says, "You can't leave. You'll just die." And Cyril replies, "Then I will ha--" "You will have died alone and afraid," she cuts him off, "Screw that. Screw that!" She loses her temper and Cyril recoils.
"I'm not letting you just run off after you've uprooted my life like this, you stupid French asshole!!"
CRACK. Her fist actually breaks the arm of the chair when she slams it down and her eyes flash yellow. She's shaking and audibly growling.
Cyril may have gone a little pale.
"Both of you!" Derek barks, though he's not using his Alpha voice. Not yet. He gives them the kind of bristly look he'd flash Stiles if he demanded calm and quiet. This is *not* going to devolve into a fight, he's determined -- of any kind, verbal or otherwise.
First Derek addresses Cyril, perhaps to give Ainsley a little time to breathe. "You turned someone. That makes you responsible."
Then it's Ainsley's turn. "Then he stays. Come what may. Stiles might know someone who knows something about witches and what to do."
Ethan Carver does growl now, though he doesn't quite snarl. Still, it's clear he's not Cyril's biggest fan right now. "I hear fire works pretty well," he comments through his clenched teeth. "At least for Old World witches. Hanging was preferred by the Colonies. Something about English law at the time. But if this is just one old, angry witch, I'm sure we can handle it. We handled the Darach, after all."
Ainsley calms quickly. She doesn't recoil like Cyril does, it's just like a little splash on the fires of her anger so that she doesn't leap across the room and start cracking Cyril's skull. She settles into her chair, and then looks down at the armrest. She awkwardly tries to set it back in place while Cyril continues talking.
"The witch did something to the town that was my territory. It is gone. No one remembers it but me. I would have thought I was going mad, but the job was not perfect, many roads just seem to cut off where the town used to be. A witch that made an entire town just... vanish. Where does anyone get that much power? Are you sure you are willing to stand against something like that?" Cyril was starting to seem less jittery and fearful and more confident. The perspective of other wolves helped. He does glance at Ainsley warily, because she looked like she was going to break him in half a moment ago.
"As far as the world knows, I never existed," he adds, "So all I can give you is my word, unless the witch confesses."
"If something's taken away, it can probably be put back," Derek offers, rolling it over in his mind. "There are probably a lot of possibilities. I'll talk to Stiles. I'll look in my own books." The Hale archives, though less than they used to be, still hold tremendous and significant knowledge. If anyone can put the numbers together, it's surely Derek and Stiles.
"We protect Beacon Hills," Ethan says, dropping his arms to his sides. "This is our home, and we protect it. Whether it's again European werewolf armies, hordes of bloodthirsty vampires, or lunatic witches with a vendetta, we protect Beacon Hills. So when you ask if we're willing to stand against something like a witch who can make a whole town vanish, that's your answer. We may not know how we'll do it, but we will do it. That's just what we do." He nods to Ainsley, then turns to Derek, lowering his voice. "I'd like to talk to you some time. Not now, not with everything else going on, and not before you've had a chance to talk to Stiles. But soon, okay?"
Ainsley doesn't have much more than light frown to offer to Cyril when he looks at her searchingly again.
Cyril decides, "I will stay, if you believe the town may be returned. There are... charities nearby?" he wonders, "I have nothing," he repeats, "No money or identity. So I will find a way. It will take some time." He nods at Derek.